Gary Portelli’s undefeated colt Rebel Dane faces their toughest test yet this weekend when they jump favourite for their resuming run in the 2013 Royal Sovereign Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.
The California Dane three-year-old has saluted for connections in all three of their career starts so far winning on debut at Canterbury last September before back-to-back Rosehill victories in October.
They race for the first time since getting back to their favourite track on Saturday for the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) facing a quality field of eight rival three-year-old colts and geldings.
Drawn in gate six with regular hoop Jason Collett in the saddle again Rebel Dane has opened favourite in the Royal Sovereign Stakes odds at a quote of $2.60 to retain their unbeaten status come Saturday afternoon.
Their short price in the markets isn’t just based on their excellent record at Rosehill but also on the fact they have won their two lead-up trials at Warwick Farm most recently on February 4 over 1200m.
Hot on their heels at $3 is then the second unbeaten galloper in the Royal Sovereign this year, Chris Waller’s star Kiwi expat Sacred Falls.
Jumping from gate eight with their New Zealand jockey Leith Innes travelling over for the ride the O’Reilly colt boasts six wins from as many starts back home including their breakthrough Group 1 triumph in the NZ 2000 Guineas over the mile on November 10 which Waller really liked.
“His last start was at the end of a long preparation and he dug deep to win so he’s got a bit of fight,” he said.
They have had one official trial in Sydney leading up to their debut for Waller when fourth over 1050m on February 1 at Randwick and with their experience and class could be the one to beat.
“He’s a nice horse. Very professional. He turns it on on race day by all reports,” Waller said.
“He’s a reserved track worker and a very laid back horse. You wouldn’t know he was in the stable which is a good attribute for a colt.
“Tony Pike from New Zealand prepared him and he handed him over to me in perfect condition. Credit to what he’s done and we’re still using his input.”
There are then two other single figure chances in the Royal Sovereign Stakes betting markets with the John O’Shea-trained Ashokan ($5) and Jarrod Austin’s Urquidez ($8) who both race first-up on Saturday.
Nicely-bred More Than Ready colt Ashokan was last seen getting flogged by Black Caviar’s crack half-brother All Too Hard in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
They were far more competitive in their earlier runs during the spring however including their third to Epaulette in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and while their resuming record isn’t great will be better suited to the track and distance here than in the Guineas.
Urquidez meanwhile was last seen finishing fifth to Albrecht in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) last August, the Street Sense gelding having had just four career starts to date with improvement expected.
The rest of the field can be found at $12 and above with the likes of Peter Snowden’s first-up Zeditave Stakes runner-up Rusambo ($12) and the David Payne-trained Spring Champion Stakes third placegetter Honorius ($26) last seen finishing eighth in the Victoria Derby – both potentially representing excellent value for punters that are tipping an upset.
The Royal Sovereign Stakes is also a nice lead-up for youngsters heading towards some of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival’s Group 1 majors including both the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas in March.
2013 Royal Sovereign Stakes Odds
Rosehill Race 5 – 3:30pm (AEST) – 16/02/2013
|1||SACRED FALLS (8)||3.00|
|5||REBEL DANE (6)||2.60|
|8||CASINO SWOOP (5)||41.00|
|9||ADABOY ROSS (2)||101.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change